Trotter on Mallard’s strategic genius

Chris Trotter is grumpy with David Shearer and especially with Trevor Mallard:

So, I ask again: Why so silent on the Ports of Auckland dispute?

Is it because you’ve been listening to Trevor Mallard, Mr Shearer? I sincerely hope not. Because Mr Mallard and his ilk are the very last people you should be listening to at the moment. They are, when all is said and done, the people who devised the campaign strategy which culminated in Labour’s worst election result in more than 80 years. The people whose political counsel is dictated by opinion polls and focus-groups. The sort of people who purport to lead by following. The people who would have asked those Sudanese children scrabbling in the dust which variety of scraps were their favourite.

Or, perhaps you’re recalling the example of “Side-line Stan” Rodger – Minister of Labour during the darkest days of Rogernomics. Mr Rodger made a virtue out of staying on the side-lines of industrial relations and refusing to involve the Government in settling strikes and lockouts.


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • Pete George

    “The people whose political counsel is dictated by opinion polls and focus-groups.”

    I’ve seen this claim often lately – is it assumption or fact? There’s other ways of running a hopeless campaign.

  • Sideline Stan Rodger; now there’s a name from the past!

    But it will be interesting to see whether or not Shearer takes Trotter’s bait. After all, the labour movement and the Labour Party go back a long way…

    • Anonymous

      I remember Sideline Stan very well. He made Horomia look like a dervish in comparison. It’s possible that Stan was in fact a cardboard cutout. 

      • It’s funny how some of those nicknames stuck. Another was Warren “MRP” Freer, so named for his failed Maximum Retail Price scheme

    • Anonymous

      Stan Rodger was PSA President before going into Parliament.

  • Anonymous

    But…. The disputes were settled in spite of Stan, and the world turned, and the economy began its slow turn to flourish. Maybe Chris this the omen for the Unions!!